low frequencies are causing a higher, fizzy type distortion.
this happens despite the tape type and speed, with it being more pronounced on type incorrectly biased.
i made a quick reference recording to document what i am referring to. you'll hear me switching from monitoring source to tape, repeating the test tone. then a sweep (notice when the tone gets below reproducible frequencies, the fuzzy top end distortion is still present).
is this an inherent symptom of recording to magnetic tape? or is there something that can be done to remedy this?
October 26, 2016 Subject:
Answer to: is this an inherent symptom of recording to magnetic tape?
It is likely that the very low frequencies are no longer well reproduced (or are filtered out) by part of the signal chain used in playback (which includes the speakers and human ears listening...)
However, looks like the signal is making it to the tape and being recorded on it. Tape is non-linear and any signal recorded onto it suffers a type of distortion (saturation). This is more pronounced the higher the input volume when recording. Basically the tape becomes saturated and can no longer respond linearly to signal level, like if the tape became less sensitive to volumes higher than a certain threshold.
The recorded signal waveform becomes 'squashed'. The squashed wave includes higher frequencies (harmonics of the original frequency) which were not present in the original signal. It is possible that the original frequency is too low to be reproduced back, but the higher frequencies can be reproduced.